Cat empathy

Juniper_Junebug

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Full disclosure: despite the title, I'm the one looking for empathy in this thread. Juno is my first cat, and I'm a little bummed that she's not so great at showing empathy when I'm at my lowest. Had a very bad day today, very visible to her, and it's just nothing. Nothing different. She just wants her food. She's not even curious that I'm basically bawling in a fetal position.

How do other people deal with this? Please, please, I ask that folks with empathic cats take it easy here bc I'm really sad and sensitive and I'm not saying no cats are sensitive, and I'm not gonna lie, I did not post this to hear people talk about how much more empathetic their cats are. I still love my cat so much, but it makes it feel more like I'm living with Guinea pig or something today. [Please, again, be nice. I'm already having a bad day].
 

neely

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I'm very sorry you're having a rough day. 🤗 I think we have all experienced days like this at one time or another. We've had more cats than I can count and they've all been so different with regards to showing empathy. Our last cat was very independent and only showed affection on her terms, not mine. Is Juno independent too? It's difficult to know what they're feeling and I'm not sure why some cats tune into our feelings more than others but I'm sure she loves you unconditionally.:catlove: I hope you feel a little better tomorrow. :hugs:
 

catloverfromwayback

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What Neely said, basically. I’ve had cats who are very affectionate, but empathetic when I’m feeling bad? Not really. I don’t know as I’d call demanding pets empathetic. I don’t really expect it and tbh when I feel crap I’d rather be left alone.

Hope tomorrow is a much better day for you.
 

Punxpunx

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I always steel myself up by telling myself that i am the one who needs to be strong for my cat, not the other way around. She is the baby and i am the daddy/protector so i better get my crap together and start acting the role dammit.

Sounds like male macho stuff, but i think it can help anyone who plays the protector/care taker role in a relationship. Gives yourself a small boost to get over that hump without looking to others
 

fionasmom

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I am very sorry that you are having a difficult time right now. Juno may be more tuned in to what is happening than you think, though.

Cats were domesticated much later than dogs, and are solitary animals. This does have something to do with how their minds work. Very little is known about how cats think, but their assumed indifference might not be what we assume that it is when we place a human value on them. I personally think that they process the world around them in a way that we do not quite understand, but that they are aware of much more than we think they are. They also express themselves differently than we might expect, but it does not mean that they don't have a strong bond to their owner in their own cat way.
 

gemm

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Full disclosure: despite the title, I'm the one looking for empathy in this thread. Juno is my first cat, and I'm a little bummed that she's not so great at showing empathy when I'm at my lowest. Had a very bad day today, very visible to her, and it's just nothing. Nothing different. She just wants her food. She's not even curious that I'm basically bawling in a fetal position.

How do other people deal with this? Please, please, I ask that folks with empathic cats take it easy here bc I'm really sad and sensitive and I'm not saying no cats are sensitive, and I'm not gonna lie, I did not post this to hear people talk about how much more empathetic their cats are. I still love my cat so much, but it makes it feel more like I'm living with Guinea pig or something today. [Please, again, be nice. I'm already having a bad day].
sometimes more so when they're very young they don't show that much empathy in a way similar to if you have a 2-year-old child they don't show much empathy also because they're so young they don't know any better yet but with children and cats when they get older that's when there understanding will be better and they will show empathy often at least most do ♥

also, you will see that at any age most show and want affection ♥
 
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Margot Lane

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I think Fiona’s mom may be onto something… cats can be very subtle and mysterious, like psychic divining rods…could be your cat is five steps ahead of where it is you are now emotionally and already beginning to program the dreams you’ll be having tonight of being in Tahiti, on a sunny beach, with not a care in the world. :)
 

Alldara

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Most cats like to be left alone when upset, so they afford the same dignity to their humans.

Humans respond differently to different emotions than cats and Juno might be able to see you acting different, but not be able to understand what's happening. She likely has no idea what you're doing. Cats don't read minds either so she has no idea that you want something 😊 it's tough when you feel that rejection, but try to remind yourself that cats are not people and we cannot differ human responses on to them.

Some cats are not cut out to be that kind of support animal. That's okay! I think over time, we learn to accept different cats' love languages by understanding and accepting that each cat is different and many only show affection on their own terms.

Rather than empathy, I think some cats learn that their human responds in a way they like when they do something. Like if I'm crying and Magnus does something silly he gets attention, so he does silly things when I cry. Conditioning.
 

iPappy

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When I am very upset, mine all keep their distance, even the dogs. I think the change in my emotions confuses and upsets them. I notice that when I start to feel better they return to normal.
I hope today is much better for you. Hugs from Ohio. ❤
 
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Juniper_Junebug

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Thanks, everyone, for the support. Not feeling quite so down today. I like the notion that Juno is just giving me the space she would want if she were hurt (even if that's just a fiction I tell myself so I don't take her impassiveness so personally).
 

game misconduct

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Thanks, everyone, for the support. Not feeling quite so down today. I like the notion that Juno is just giving me the space she would want if she were hurt (even if that's just a fiction I tell myself so I don't take her impassiveness so personally).
dont forget you get to tell her anything you want with no worries about being judged or offered fix it solutions when your just looking to vent. happy to hear your feeling better today
 

Margot Lane

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Cats are very Zen, too. What seems like impassivity could in fact be deep intuition…I tend to think of my cat as a Dharma teacher…the more I tune into his energy, the more I realize there’s a lot to be learned…about how to face life, suffering, joy…all of it. I am so glad you are feeling better…feel free to reach out for empathy anytime!
 

iPappy

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In the days leading up to Tag's passing, I noticed all 3 cats at some point laying near him. They weren't necessarily cuddled up to him, but they were nearby, in a relaxed loaf, just "hanging out". I have wondered if they were paying their respects in the kindest way possible, by letting him sleep but just being present for comfort.
I think they feel empathy, just in a different way than we do. And we humans don't all react in exactly the same way, either. I really like this one author, and I read a clip about him when he was faced with a potentially scary diagnosis. He said he became depressed and spent his life in bed or on the couch. He had a dog, and at first he was annoyed because the dog wasn't loyally laying by his side at all times. She was bringing him toys, flinging them at him, barking her head off at him, bringing him her leash, etc. At one point he realized this dog was telling him that he was still alive, he was still capable, and was nudging him to get up and continue on, so he did. I thought that was really cool, maybe that's what Juno's thoughts were, too.
I'm glad today is better Juniper_Junebug Juniper_Junebug . It's really rough sometimes. :hugs:
 

Alldara

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Thanks, everyone, for the support. Not feeling quite so down today. I like the notion that Juno is just giving me the space she would want if she were hurt (even if that's just a fiction I tell myself so I don't take her impassiveness so personally).
Glad to hear you're feeling a bit better. It's definitely not a fiction, so don't worry that you're fooling yourself! Cats are notorious for hiding when ill; at least the stereotype does come from somewhere. Some cats are a bit different and prefer comfort of their humans.
 

catloverfromwayback

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In the days leading up to Tag's passing, I noticed all 3 cats at some point laying near him. They weren't necessarily cuddled up to him, but they were nearby, in a relaxed loaf, just "hanging out". I have wondered if they were paying their respects in the kindest way possible, by letting him sleep but just being present for comfort.
I think they feel empathy, just in a different way than we do. And we humans don't all react in exactly the same way, either. I really like this one author, and I read a clip about him when he was faced with a potentially scary diagnosis. He said he became depressed and spent his life in bed or on the couch. He had a dog, and at first he was annoyed because the dog wasn't loyally laying by his side at all times. She was bringing him toys, flinging them at him, barking her head off at him, bringing him her leash, etc. At one point he realized this dog was telling him that he was still alive, he was still capable, and was nudging him to get up and continue on, so he did. I thought that was really cool, maybe that's what Juno's thoughts were, too.
I'm glad today is better Juniper_Junebug Juniper_Junebug . It's really rough sometimes. :hugs:
What a good doggo!
 

Luvyna

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Glad to hear you are feeling better and hoping things will get easier for you ❤

Like mentioned above, if Juno is still a kitten it may be that she doesn't quite understand what's happening and hasn't fully developed her sense of empathy yet. I have found with my pets of all different species that they seem to get more attuned to humans and their emotions with age and more time spent together.

It's also very possible that she is giving you space - I've noticed that when I am in a bad mood, my cat will give me space. There has also been research that shows cats will more readily approach humans who are smiling and happy than those who are frowning.
 

mani

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I agree so much with what others have said.
I think cats have a very subtle empathy. Maybe over time you'll pick up on Juno's way of being with you at different times (mine seem to know when I'm in physical pain, but don't react at other times). I think the idea that they honour solitude is a really good one.

Another way to look at it is to see if you can cheer yourself up with Juno. Does she have a favourite toy? Playing with your cat can be a wonderful way to help the blues, no matter how intense.

I do hope you're feeling a little better now. It's no fun feeling so low.:hugs:
 

Cat McCannon

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When I’m feeling down, I find it’s much healthier to pamper Belle, brush her, play with her, pet her, give her treats than to expect her to comfort me. Being with Belle everyday keeps me up, reduces stress and brings joy to my life.

Go dote on Juno. It won’t be long before your pain fades and is replaced by the happiness your cat brings.
 
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